The Lexus LF-A in the Nürburgring 24H Race this weekend

Lexus LF-A in the Nürburgring 24H Race

The Nürburgring 24hour race is happening this weekend, which the Lexus LF-A is pretend-competing in, using the race environment to see how the supercar holds up over an intensive run.

Well, as it turns out, it’s probably best Lexus didn’t throw its hat fully into the ring, because one hour after the race started, the LF-A pulled into the pits with a transmission problem. This was eventually resolved, and the racing prototype is back on the track, though it’s no longer truly in the race.

Most importantly, Automobile Magazine managed to snap a photo of the LF-A’s engine while it was in the pits (click the image for a larger version):

Lexus LF-A Engine Closeup

(More updates as they become available, and if you’d like to follow along, the race can be watched live right on the official site.)

[Source: Automobile Magazine]

Lexus IS 300 Garage Drift Video

Ignoring everything that could have went wrong, this video of a Lexus IS 300 drifting 180° into a garage is just the thing for a Friday afternoon:

Really though, that’s a perfect setup, how could you not try that if you had a driveway like that?

Lexus planning two dedicated hybrids?

A drawing of the Lexus Dedicated Hybrid

Edmund’s Inside Line blog has definitely living up to its name over the last couple days, first breaking the possibility of a $200,000 Lexus LF-A, and now revealing details that Lexus could be planning to bring out not one, but two hybrid-only vehicles in the near future:

Toyota’s upscale Lexus brand is considering the addition of at least two dedicated hybrid vehicles to its rapidly expanding product portfolio, including a premium-priced companion to the Toyota Prius as well as a midsize crossover that could be the industry’s first dedicated gas-electric CUV, industry sources tell Inside Line.

Inside Line has learned that the new Prius is expected to go on sale in North America in late spring 2009, as a 2010 model. The first dedicated Lexus hybrid won’t arrive in dealerships until calendar year 2010, according to Japanese sources. A second Lexus hybrid is tentatively slated for production in 2011.

All three models reportedly will be built on an updated version of Toyota’s corporate midsize platform, known internally as MC, which underpins the Camry as well as the Lexus RX. The RX currently is offered in both gas and hybrid variants.

The first dedicated hybrid was announced by Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe during the Detroit Auto Show, but there were no real details given. Rumors have long suggested that this would be a Lexus Prius, and that seems to be more and more the case every day.

This midsize hybrid crossover could be a retelling of the RAV4 rumor that surfaces every six months or so, though the new twist is that it would be built on a larger platform. Unfortunately, that makes little sense, as it would mean Lexus would be introducing a vehicle that directly competes with the RX. My feeling is that if Lexus does build another crossover, it will be RAV4 sized, and will be competing against the BMW X3.

Motor Trend visits the Lexus Hybrid Living Suite

Lexus Hybrid Living Suites

Motor Trend spent some time in the Lexus Hybrid Living Suite, a suite created at the San Francisco Fairmont hotel to showcase Lexus’ commitment to environmental responsibility:

The San Francisco Fairmont is located on top of the Nob Hill area, the highest point in the entire city. As one might imagine, such a location makes for fantastic views — in fact, the Lexus Suite provides a stunning look at many of San Francisco’s chief points of interest, including Alcatraz, Coit Tower, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Organic is a chief theme in the suite, with material for the bed mattress, sheets, towels, and robes all grown without pesticides. Much of the furniture in the suite, from the night stands, to the bed, dining table, and bathroom fixtures, was sourced from antique stores — as opposed to buying new items — and refinished, essentially recycling them for use in the suite.

Primarily I’m linking to the story because of the photo gallery, which shows the suite from a number of different angles, but it’s also important to note that this might be the first time Motor Trend’s passed on the chance to put down the hybrid sedan.

Is the Lexus LF-A going to cost over $200,000?

Lexus LF-A

Big LF-A news today, as Edmund’s Inside Line has sleuthed out a possible price on the Lexus supercar:

With an estimated 500 horsepower coming from the LF-A’s 5.0-liter V10, we didn’t expect the Lexus to come cheap, but Inside Line has learned that the car will carry a price tag over $200,000.

Ben Mitchell, corporate product planning manager for Lexus, confirmed that the price of the carbon-fiber supercar “will begin with a two.” And another Lexus source in Japan told Inside Line the price may be as high as $225,000.

First off, one interesting thing about this article is that the quote from Ben Mitchell has been removed since being published, with no explanation. I found it very surprising that anyone from Lexus would comment on the price, and it looks there’s been some damage control initiated.

As for the potential price, I don’t quite understand it. It may compete performance-wise with the cars in this segment, but it doesn’t follow Lexus’ standard procedure of offering more for less. My feeling is that if this number is accurate, there’s going to be something very special about this car.